Paralyzed girl fulfills dream of drumming with device engineered at UW

Some University of Washington engineers are helping a little girl make her dream a reality.

SEATTLE - 10-year-old Jayna Doll was born with hemimegalencephaly.

It’s a rare condition where one half of the brain grows abnormally larger than the other.

Doctors removed half of Doll's brain as a baby to get rid of her life-threatening seizures. Now that means she cannot use part of her left side, including her left hand.

Some University of Washington engineering students and professors are helping Doll with a new device.

“The majority of this device is 3-D printed,” said UW senior Bradley Wachter.

He explained the device attaches to Doll's arm, and the claw on the end opens and closes depending on Dol's left elbow movement.

An added attachment allows her to fulfill a lifelong dream – play the drums.

“She's always been drawn to music since she was an infant,” said Sunshine Glynn, Doll's mother.

But that’s what happened when Doll tried the device at the UW’s Ability Lab in the School of Mechanical Engineering.

“The average person wouldn’t think that’s something to celebrate,” said Glynn. “But it’s phenomenal.”

The end goal at the UW is to develop brain-computer interfaces that would let a person simply think to move those devices. They believe that could be less than a decade away.

Copyright 2016 KING


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